Strong Imac rushing game, BLHS miscues drop Bobcats to 2-2
For the second week in a row, the Basehor-Linwood High School football team had trouble with a talented tailback.
The culprit this time? Immaculata High School's Chase Day, who ran for 137 yards and one touchdown on 24 carries to lift the Raiders to a 25-12 victory on the Bobcats Homecoming Night.
"I'm just befuddled by our front line play," said a frustrated Steve Hopkins, Basehor-Linwood head coach, just after the loss on Friday. "They got underneath a lot of our blocks and were able to run the ball on us. They just ran straight ahead and made yards."
The Immaculata running approach was a bit of a surprise to many at the game who had heard of the prowess of the Raider passing game. The Raiders had passed 44 times in their previous game, a 36-31 loss to Bishop Ward, and had a tall and strong wide receiver in the form of Danny McEvoy. Still, it was the ground game that dominated minutes for the Raiders.
"They're a team that counts on the big play," Hopkins said of the Raiders. "If you're stopping the run, those big plays are hard to come by. We just didn't do a good job of that tonight."
The Raiders set the tone of the game early when, on the third play from scrimmage, Chase Day broke an inside hand-off up the right side of the field for a 54-yard touchdown run. The extra point try was wide left, but two minutes into the game the Raiders were up 6-0.
When Will Peterson fumbled the ball on the Bobcats' first offensive play of the game, the situation began to look eerily familiar to the previous week's contest where the Cats gave up two fumbles and quickly found themselves down 14-0. However, this time the defense would prove stingy, and after a key tackle by Alex Smith and two more by Kyle Speichinger, the Raiders would be forced to punt.
Offensively, the Bobcats found the going extremely tough in the first half, as the undersized but extremely quick defensive line of Immaculata cut off the running lanes and forced Basehor into several third-and-long situations.
The Raiders added to their lead just before the end of the first half when McEvoy out-jumped Bobcat defensive back Jayce Proctor for a 15-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Chris Garlick to make the score 12-0. The TD pass capped off a 13-play, 62-yard drive that took up over half of the first quarter.
The Bobcat defense did not allow a score the rest of the half while the offense put together a time-eating drive of its own late in the second quarter. A Michael Armstrong quarterback keeper from the 1-yard line, making the halftime score 12-6 IMAC, capped the Cats' 18-play, 83-yard drive. All of the yards gained on the drive came on the ground as Armstrong contributed 32 yards, tailback Will Peterson churned out 35 yards, and fullback Josh Ishmael ran for 14.
Neither side came up with sustained drives to start the second half, but the Bobcats finally broke out on top toward the end of the 3rd quarter when Peterson put the exclamation point on an 8-play, 70-yard drive by breaking an inside hand-off to the left side of the field for a 33-yard touchdown run. The extra point by Seth Lashbrook put the Bobcats up 13-12.
However, the fourth quarter belonged to the Raiders, who completed a 10-play 65-yard drive with a Garlick 4-yard keeper run for a score and then added a final touchdown on a Garlick to McEvoy 30-yard completion.
Hopkins blamed mental mistakes for at least part of the loss.
"We started poorly," Hopkins said. "We probably had six plays where we had major breakdowns and on none of those occasions was it the same kid. It was a different foul up every time and they (IMAC) really took advantage of it. I told the guys after the game, 'Hey each guy had a mistake tonight, each coach did too.' It seemed like every time we messed up it was big."
Despite the loss, Bobcat tailback Will Peterson managed to keep his string of 100-yard games alive at four by rushing for 110 yards on 17 carries (6.5 yards/per).
Next up for the Bobcats is a road match up with Columbus High School from Southeast Kansas, Friday, Oct. 1 at 7 p.m.